I’ve been thinking a lot about PSP lately. I’ve been wondering about how the system is settling into the market, and how it fits into the playstation family at this point.
To be honest, my thoughts on the PSP at the moment are still about 30% positive and 70% negative, and that’s being generous.
Here are the good points currently:
- Looks nice
- Digital only is cool / the future of handheld gaming
The bad points:
- Price of system is still too high
- No UMD solution
- Selection of games on PSN is limited
- PSN releases are sometimes later after UMD release
- PSN downloads are more expensive than UMD
- No reward points from PSN purchases
- The device itself is low-tech for today’s market considering the price (lack of touch screen, not as much memory as other devices available.
- MiniS have been poor to average quality and expensive so far and that doesn’t look to be changing.
- Lack of competition price wise means Sony can charge whatever they want on PSN.
So, essentially this list isn’t too dissimilar to the one I did after the launch of the system back in October. Possibly even worse because of how MiniS have been disappointing, in a similar way to how Nintendo’s download services always succeed in disappointing hardcore fans.
Every time I look at the PSN store update, in the PSP section it seems like a few UMD legacy games are being released each week which practically no-one cares about. Sony need to make sure that all the best PSP games are on the store as quickly as possible and it seems like they don’t care to do this most obvious of things. It’s weird how they seem to lack any sense of urgency. I just want them to focus on blowing our socks off each week with tons of new content. That isn’t happening. How hard can it possibly be for a company as large as Sony to produce content to excite people?
So with that said, what can Sony do to reinvigorate the PSP go and make people excited for that device? Well, here’s some obvious tips I hope they realise.
- UMD solution: This is even more important than the price cut. The PSP 3000 was a rip off for the paltry amount of stuff it added. If you tell people that they can make digital copies of all their games and have them with them everywhere on a smaller, sleeker device, they will sell a ton of them. This is the biggest roadblock Sony have at the moment.
- Lower the price. £175, £179, £150 even? They don’t cost a lot to make, I’m sure they could do this. I suppose maybe they’re worried they won’t make any loss back on game sales because people aren’t aware of what’s out there.
- Release games day and date with the retail versions.
- Make downloads cheaper. They may be limited by retailers wanting to protect their business, but there are other options, for example the following suggestion.
- A loyalty scheme where you get money off or bonus content for buying digital games from the store.
- Get every major PSP back-catalogue game on the store quickly.
- Make better miniS
If they did some of those things the PSP go could be a very attractive product. If they did all of them, it would be a massive success. Too bad they might have tarnished the brand by releasing it in the state that it’s in now, unfinished and rough around the edges in many ways.